Several efforts are currently underway to address gaps in supporting the mental health of young children and families. Here is a quick overview of the complementary public and private efforts in motion to help achieve shared goals.
Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) is a national initiative administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that began in 2008 and has funded more than 70 sites, including states, tribes, territories and communities. Two communities in Colorado have received Project LAUNCH funding. In 2010, the Weld Systems Navigation Project in Weld County was the first grantee in Colorado to receive a federally funded Project LAUNCH grant award. In 2014, a second federally funded Project LAUNCH grant was awarded to the state of Colorado in partnership with Adams County Early Childhood Partnership. To learn more about Project LAUNCH, visit: healthysafechildren.org.
Colorado Project LAUNCH, or COPL, is supported by federal Project LAUNCH funding and describes the Colorado-specific partnership between the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, JFK Partners at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County (ECPAC). This five-year grant award supports work at the state-level in addition to Adams County, with an increased emphasis on children and families with less-equitable health outcomes.
LAUNCH Together is a privately-funded initiative designed to replicate and expand the system and program successes of prior federally-funded efforts. Colorado is the only state to mobilize private partners and resources in a unique collaboration for early childhood social-emotional development.
To briefly summarize the three distinct, but collaborative efforts Project LAUNCH is a federally funded project governed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Colorado Project LAUNCH (COPL) is a grantee of Project LAUNCH. LAUNCH Together is a privately-funded initiative inspired by Project LAUNCH. Colorado has a tremendous opportunity to leverage these efforts to work towards bold policy, financing and systems change, streamlined data sharing and infrastructure, a stronger workforce across child-serving settings, and increased public awareness.
To learn more about LAUNCH Together, visit: launchtogethercolorado.org. To learn more about Project LAUNCH, visit: healthysafechildren.org.